Best Spinning Reel

Your definitive guide for finding the best spinning reel for your specific needs

So here’s the deal:

There’s a market that’s literally flooded with products that are all marketed with the idea of being the best reel out there, but how do you choose the best spin reel when there’s so many makes and models out there?

One of the most important things to consider is what your specific application in mind is, and secondly your budget. But in essence, if you don’t have all the buyer’s information at hand, it can still be a daunting task.

In this post we’ll be discussing the types of spinning reels available on the market today, giving you some crucial tips to keep in mind before making a purchase, and finally showing you what we chose as 3 of the best options available in the 2017 spinning reel market.

The #1 Spinning Reel

Shimano Stradic FJ$$
Pflueger Supreme XT$$
Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel$$

What Exactly Is a Spinning Reel?

Also known as fixed-spool reels, spinning reels don’t rotate and ensure that lines can be controlled by the angler, releasing and reeling freely as they see fit. Spinning reels are used for spin fishing and can be applied in either fly fishing or bait cast fishing.

Advantages of Using a Spinning Reel

One of the most obvious reasons why anglers use spinning reels is because they make the line load lighter and they also make casting so much more effortless. Because spinning reels have fixed and open spools, their casts allow the lines to flow off in coils, ensuring that backlashes or tangles are highly unlikely when these tools are utilized.

What Makes the Best Spinning Reel…

While spinning reels come with a bunch of tech specs, they’re actually very easy to understand, and once you pay attention to their most important aspects, it becomes so much easier to spot one that’s suitable for your needs. Here’s what you need to be on the lookout for when shopping for a spinning reel:

Drag System

As one of the most important features on a spinning reel, the drag system’s quality is one of the most predominant factors that will determine whether or not the reel is right for you. If you have a smooth drag system, you’ll be able to reel in larger fish with a smaller line, and if the reel doesn’t cause jerking reactions whenever a fish takes the bait, it’s definitely a keeper. Some spinning reels have rear drag reels which are controlled by knobs, but the majority of reels feature front drag systems which are controlled with dials.

Line Capacity

The spool size of the spinning reel will either come in 4 or 3 different sizes, having an increase in the total line capacity as the spool sizes increase. Most spools can be filled with different lines as part of an emergency contingency plan, but your reel should come standard with either a monofilament or braided line.

Total Weight

Since most reel frames are either made with carbon, aluminum, magnesium, or plastic, they all have very different total weights. Carbon and magnesium reels will cost a lot more than the more common plastic and aluminum reels, although the extra price might be worth it since carbon and magnesium are lighter and are more rigid.


These are essential because they can make the movement of the handle and spool move smoothly together, or make it a horrible experience. If you can get your hands on a spinning reel with about 4 or 5 bearings, it should suffice, since any more would just add unnecessary costs to the deal. Ideally, you’ll want to have bearings located on the handle shaft, the main gear, one on the bearing of the line roller, and one on the anti-reverse.


Unintentional unwinding is something that’s not ideal, and that’s exactly what anti-reverse will help prevent. Normally, freshwater reels come standard with anti-reverse, and it’s so much of a useful feature that some anglers never even disengage the function.

Balance & Comfort

Aside from having to be the right fit for your hands, the reel and rod have to be comfortable when you’re operating it. If the reel and rod feels cumbersome or too flimsy, it might not be the ideal fit for your specific needs.

Review of the 3 Best Spinning Reels

We’ve rounded up 3 of the best spinning reels, all of which offer great value for money. We hope that you’ll be able to look at our reviews and use them as a guide to help you find the best fishing spin reel for your individual preferences and of course your budget.

Best Spinning Reel

1. Shimano Stradic FJ

Shimano Stradic FJShimano’s Stradic series of spinning reels are hugely popular with a hundreds of freshwater fishermen, and it’s a brand that’s been tried and trusted for at least a decade thanks to the company’s excellent mechanical designs and their reputable drag systems.

The Shimano Stradic FJ spinning reel has an almost all-white finish, which makes it aesthetically appealing. Only a little plastic is used in the construction of this reel since it sports a frame and handle which are cast from solid aluminum. Weighing in at a mere 9.2 ounces, this spinning reel is light enough to ensure you can easily complete a week long fishing trip without it tiring you out.

We loved how easily the Stradic made casting, we even tested it against some seriously windy conditions and can honestly report that it still stood up to the challenge with a smile. With its solid gearing system, the stiff frame, the excellent drag system, and the great handle, this spinning reel is one of the best buys you can currently invest in, giving you amazing value for your money, whether you plan on using it for fresh-or-saltwater fishing purposes.


2. Pflueger Supreme XT

Pflueger Supreme XTWe were pleasantly surprised at the high-performance abilities that the very affordable Pflueger Supreme XT brought to the table. The reel is made using the highest quality materials, sporting a rotor, side plate, and body that’s cast from magnesium. This ensures that the reel is super lightweight and offers a perfect balance. Furthermore, this reel is fitted with EVA foam knobs on the reel and a handle that’s formed with light carbon fiber to up the comfort and performance levels.

The Supreme XT has seen thousands of amazingly positive reviews being written about it by anglers from across the world, and all of them seem to be pretty impressed with the amazing performance and quality they got for a low cost, and so were we. This spinning reel feels great when being used, it casts like a dream, and with the sealed carbon fiber drag stack, it just works the way you want and need it to.


3. Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning ReelHere we have something that looks like it might be a replica of the Pflueger Supreme XT, but once you start looking deeper than the surface, you’ll notice that the materials used for construction and the total weight is what sets our number two pick apart from the Revo SX.

The Revo SX Spinning Reel is constructed with an aluminum gear and has a carbon insert molded frame, as well as a side plate and a handle that’s made with carbon, unlike the Supreme XT which is made from magnesium.

It’s an amazing spinning reel because it sports a very reliable and durable carbon matric drag system which might even outlast your years of participating in the sport of spin fishing. This reel is best used for the finer angling applications such as drop shots and shaky heads. We reckon that most folks will appreciate this reel’s braid-ready spool that can easily handle anywhere between 10 and 20 feet of advanced braid.


Final Thoughts

As you can see from our reviews, the Shimano Stradic FJ comes in as out top pick in the roundup for the best spinning reel. The reason for this is because it has an excellent drag system and it’s also very comfortable to use. Furthermore, it ensures smooth casting and also provides the angler with versatility and durability, something which is high on the priority list of any angler worth his bucket of worms.

We hope that this post has been helpful in helping you see just how much easier a good quality spinning reel can make your fishing adventures. When you start incorporating the advice we gave you in this post, you’ll be able to spot the best from the rest while you’re out shopping for a new spinning reel.